Imperial Life pour femmes
Rajiv Chandrasekaran. Imperial Life in the Emerald City. So, so, so good.
Applicants to work at ORHA asked their positions on Roe vs. Wade. WTF, mate?
But. This is the important part.
The Green Zone, Scene II: (56-57)
General Order 1 prohibited military personnel from consuming alcohol in Iraq, but it didn't apply to CPA staffers.
Drinking alcohol quickly became the most popular after-work activity. The Green Zone had no fewer than seven watering holes...[including] the al-Rasheed's disco, which was the place to be seen on Thursday nights. A sign at the door requested patrons not to bring firearms inside. Scores of CPA staffers, including women who had had the foresight to pack hot pants and four-inch heels, danced on an illuminated Baath Party star embedded in the floor.
The atmosphere was thick with sexual tension. At the bar, there were usually ten men to every woman. With tours of duty that sometimes stretched to six months without a home leave, some with wedding rings began to refer to themselves as "operationally single."
The guys did whatever they could to gain the attention of the gals. Before heading to the disco, soldiers changed out of their camouflage fatigues, and CPA staffers slipped off their khakis and polo shirts. The Texans wore cowboy hats and jeans. Others put on dress shirts or baggy hip-hop duds with whatever bling-bling they could find in the Green Zone Bazaar.
There were prostitutes in Baghdad, but you couldn't drive into town to get laid like in Saigon. there was a persistent rumor of a whorehouse in the Green Zone, but CPA staffers said it was a military thing. Only the soldiers knew the location, and they weren't talking.
CPA staffers were forced to do the mating dance with one another. The women led. In an email to her friends back home, a staffer wrote,
"The men, faced with a shortage of women, are eager to find a girlfriend, so that they have a reliable source of, um, companionship. The women, on the other hand, have every incentive to refuse to commit to any one man, given the vast array available to them. Others think it's skeezy (and aren't too flattered knowing that the attention is more a result of scarcity than anything else). But it is kind of fun to watch if you can keep from getting depressed."
The men joked about it too. They claimed to know someone who knew someone who was on a British Royal Air Force flight to Kuwait where the pilot announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, we're exiting Iraqi airspace. Ladies, you are no longer beautiful."
The most attractive women received discomfiting attention. When one fetching CPA staffer introduced herself to a man she'd never met, he smiled and said, "I know who you are. Everyone knows who all the pretty women are."
If staffers were lucky enough to find love, or more likely, lust, finding a place to canoodle wasn't easy. those who lived in a trailer or at the al-Rasheed had at least one roommate. Residents of the palace chapel had two hundred. Would-be lovers drove or walked to secluded parts of the Green Zone and hoped they wouldn't get caught by a military patrol. Some soldiers claimed that the safest, but perhaps least romantic, place to hook up was in the portable toilets.